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Since 1st March, 1999
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Tanked in gale

London, Oct. 28 (Reuters): The British army appealed today for anyone hiding one if its borrowed inflatable tanks — which blew away in a weekend gale — to kindly return it.

“If anyone has seen a flying tank please contact us. We would like it back,” army spokesman David Webb said from breezy Wales. “We borrowed six of the inflatable tanks from the Royal Air Force and would very much like to give six back to them. At the moment we only have five.”

The dummy tank, which takes three men to handle, was being used in an exercise involving troops from Britain, the United States, Canada, Belgium and Poland high in the Brecon Beacon mountains. The annual exercise is supposed to give troops a feel of what it is like to operate patrols deep behind enemy lines.

Party march

Caracas, Venezuela (Reuters): They’ve marched in the streets, closed businesses in protest strikes, stumbled nervously through a short-lived coup and even tried to have him declared legally insane. Now foes of Leftist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez are challenging him with a permanent party in a Caracas square, drawing thousands daily to support a group of rebel military officers calling for a revolt against his rule. What began Tuesday as a political protest by 14 generals and admirals who urged a nationwide “disobedience” campaign against Chavez, has turned into a mini-carnival. Thousands of opponents of the populist president, blowing whistles, waving national flags, flock daily to Altamira Plaza in wealthy east Caracas, to cheer the rebel officers. Scores of street vendors have joined them, selling flags, horns, whistles, anti-Chavez T-shirts and other protest paraphernalia that has become a boom industry in the world’s number five oil exporter. In the square festooned with banners and balloons in the red, blue, and yellow of Venezuela’s flag, musicians, dancers, stilt-walking mimics and jugglers perform for the crowds.

Japan jinx

Tokyo (Reuters): Japanese men may be literally working themselves to death. More than 21.4 per cent of Japanese men work more than 80 hours of overtime a month as of July this year, the highest level in a decade, the health and labour ministry said in a survey released on Sunday and quoted by Kyodo news agency. The ministry has previously linked overtime of more than 80 hours per month for an extended period to karoshi or death from overwork.

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